I’m sure that by now, you must be wondering what happened to the parents’ and grandparents’ Sponsorship Program (PGP). January is the time of the year when we, at the office, open our computers and struggle to create the Expression of Interest profile for our clients for the parents and grandparents Sponsorship application. However, it did not happen this year.
I was surprised to learn, just before the new year, of the release of IRCC’s Ministerial Instructions 36 (M136) with respect to the processing of applications for a permanent resident visa made by parents or grandparents of a sponsor as members of the family class and the processing of sponsorship applications made in relation to those applications.
With regard to the aforementioned M136, the New Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), Hon. Marco Mendecino, announced that, “as of January 1, 2020, no permanent resident visa applications made by parents or grandparents of a sponsor and no sponsorship applications made in relation to those applications are accepted for processing until further instructions are issued. This will allow IRCC sufficient time to complete the development of a new application intake management process for the parents’ and grandparents’ sponsorship program, to be implemented in 2020 and they are expected to issue further instructions relating to the program by April 1, 2020, at the latest.”
If you recall, in 2017, the Liberal government introduced a lottery system for the PGP. In this initiative, sponsors who are planning to apply to sponsor their parents or grandparents were given 30 days to submit an “expression of interest” profile. Following this submission, the government then randomly selects candidates and invites them to submit the application package for their family.
Last year (2019), we were anxious to access the form online but that access only lasted for 10 minutes. Our clients were not happy when they learned that we were unable to access the form. We then learned that there were more than 100,000 people who tried to access the online form at the same time. Many could not access the online form while others, including us, could not complete it on time, which resulted in criticism of the process.
About 20,000 people are admitted annually under the PGP and the IRCC website shows a processing time of 24 months.
To those who are planning to sponsor their parents and grandparents this year, the best advice would be to keep yourself informed of any updated instructions from IRCC, which are expected to be released by April 2020.
If you have questions regarding the above article you may contact Marjorie at firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulation (IRPR)
A word of caution: You should not act or rely on the information provided in this column. It is not legal advice. To ensure your interests are protected, retain or formally seek advice from a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) in good standing of ICCRC. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of RCICs.